After overcoming staff shortages, supply chain disruptions and pandemic restrictions, the hospitality industry now must face rising inflation.

Back in 2020, things were tough for whole industry:

  • 90% experienced fewer sales and customers
  • 77% decreased their working days 
  • 42.2% let go of staff permanently [1]

As many businesses are finally getting back on their feet, Australians are currently facing the highest annual increase in living expenses since 1987 [2] and this is set to hit hospitality particularly hard.

How is inflation impacting hospitality?

For businesses in hospitality, they can expect to feel the pinch, when it comes to:

  1. Operational costs – whether it’s buying fresh ingredients or paying your electricity bills, day-to-day expenses are on the rise.
  2. Fewer customers – with customers cutting down on non-essential costs, this means fewer nights out.
  3. Supplier costs -suppliers are starting to pass on costs for rent hikes on storage facilities and fuel costs.

7 tips for tackling cost of living pressures

1 Conduct a financial health check

Pay close attention to your outgoings, like the cost of goods sold, rent, and wages.

2. Evaluate menu pricing

Find little ways to increase prices. Given that people will pay more for branded menu items, offering dishes created using AERO® & MILYBAR® Dessert Mixes for example, is one way to make price rises easy for customers to accept.

3. Be transparent

85% of Australians intend to buy from local businesses to help them recover from Covid. If your business is facing challenges, let your customers know – they will want to support you.

4. Optimise your menu

Look at how your menu is performing and then consider:  

  • Crafting a smaller menu – remove your least ordered and most time-consuming menu items.
  • Champion best-sellers -focus on perfecting the dishes that sell well, then make sure staff push them.
  • Sub out ingredients – swap expensive ingredients for more affordable substitutes and use cheaper seasonal produce.
  • Offer branded menu items – You can charge more for branded items like AERO® & MILYBAR® Dessert Mixes, which create delicious shakes, mousse and ice cream.

5. Create cost-effective rosters

With the recent cost of living pressures, it’s likely minimum wages will go up. Consider how many staff are needed each day, put your best workers on busy shifts and stagger their start times.

6. Minimise waste

Whether it’s ditching single-use plastic  or implementing strategies to cut down on food waste, minimising waste will save money. Technology can also help here with more accurate reporting and less room for human error.

7. Build brand loyalty

64% of people find the customer experience more important than price. The challenge for businesses then, is to make sure you create a strong emotional connection with your customers, like posting pics of all your delicious desserts on social media.


While it looks like the hospitality industry won’t be out of the woods for a while, the pandemic proved that agile and proactive business owners, will always come out on top. We hope some of these strategies will help you do just that.

To find out more about how you can optimise costs and our range of desserts and mousses, visit the Nestlé Professional website HERE.

MILKYBAR and AERO are registered trademarks of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. Foodservice Operators must not use MILKYBAR and AERO logos without authorisation from Nestlé Australia Ltd. Nestlé Australia Ltd. and SPN have no objection to the use of the words “Nestlé MILKYBAR Dessert Mix” and “Nestlé AERO Dessert Mix” by foodservice operators solely for the use in dessert applications and listing on menus provided no logo is used. For any further use of MILKYBAR and AERO, users must seek further authorisation from Nestlé. Third Party Foodservice operators should also include in close connection to the brands MILKYBAR and AERO the following statement “MILKYBAR and AERO are registered trademarks of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.”

About Nestlé Professional:

Nestlé Professional is a global food and beverage company that provides creative and innovative solutions for foodservice operators. With a focus on quality and taste, Nestlé Professional offers a wide range of products that cater to the needs of chefs, restaurateurs, and foodservice operators around the world.